Urban Mission> 

A group of Florida teens spruces up inner-city Memphis.

A park on Vance, a nearby house, and the locker rooms at Booker T. Washington High School look a little nicer after a group of teens from the First Presbytarian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, spent their annual mission trip sprucing them up last week.

Fifty-three teens and nine counselors worked with the Memphis-based Streets Ministries. They constructed six fitness stations, a playground area, and a volleyball court at the park, rebuilt the roof of a house on Georgia Avenue, and painted the locker and weight rooms at Booker T. Washington.

"Mark Pendergrass [the group's leader], was originally from Memphis, so he wanted to come back for the group's mission trip," said Ken Bennett, executive director of Streets Ministries. "The same way a lot of Memphis churches will go to Brazil or Mexico on mission trips, this youth group came to Memphis. It's sort of like an urban mission trip."

The church paid for all the supplies needed. The teens spent a week working on the projects, and according to Bennett, kids from the Streets Ministries pitched in as well. The projects were chosen by Streets Ministries after an inventory of community needs.

Streets Ministries is a Christian outreach center that works with low-income or troubled junior high and high school youth.

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